Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
What is Endovenous Laser Ablation?
Endovenous Laser Ablation, or EVLA, is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed on varicose veins that previously could only be treated with surgery. It is performed in our office under local anesthesia, and involves little to no pain.
How does EVLA work?
EVLA is performed using a laser fiber that is inserted directly into the vein. The heat from the laser shrinks and closes the vein. Blood then flows through other nearby, healthy veins.
How long does the treatment take?
The procedure usually takes about 45 minutes and most patients can continue with normal activities immediately after the procedure.
The majority of patients suffer no side effects or complications, however possible side effects include bleeding, bruising, redness, tenderness, swelling, and infection at the site.
Risks of EVLA
All procedures come with some risk.
Possible risks involved in endovenous laser ablation include:
- Nerve damage
- Redness or swelling of the vein
Preparing for Your EVLA Procedure
Be sure to ask the vascular specialists at Virginia Vein Care any questions you have regarding your procedure prior to your date. You will be asked questions regarding your health history and given a physical exam. Tell our staff if you have a history of bleeding disorders and if you are taking any blood-thinning medications, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medicines that affect blood thinning.
What happens during Endovenous Laser Ablation?
You will be asked to lie on the exam table which may be tilted at an angle during the procedure. To protect your eyes from the light of the laser you may be given special goggles or eyeglasses to wear.
Your vein specialist will numb the area where the catheter will be inserted into your vein. You will also receive a shot of numbing medicine along the length of the vein to be treated.
A duplex ultrasound will be used to check on your vein before and during the process. This device uses sound waves to create an image of your vein on the computer screen.
The vein specialist will make a small incision in your skin to insert the catheter which will be guided into the varicose vein. A laser fiber will be put inside the catheter. As the laser fiber is slowly withdrawn, the laser heats up and closes the vein.
The site of the injection will be small enough that no stitches will be needed. A bandage will suffice to cover the cut.
EVLA Home Care
After you return home from your endovenous laser ablation procedure, your vein specialist may recommend certain instructions to ensure a speedy recovery.
- Any swelling can be treated with an ice pack placed on the area for 15 minutes at a time.
- Inspect the incision daily. Any light pink fluid on the bandage is normal.
- Do not immerse the incision in water for 48 hours. Take sponge baths until the bandages are removed.
- Do not stand for long periods of time.
- Do not take a hot bath for a week or two.
- Wear your compression stockings as long as you are advised to prevent swelling.
- Walk for 10-20 minutes 3 times a day.
- Remain active but refrain from running, jumping, or lifting heavy things for a week or two.
- Keep your legs elevated when sitting and no sitting or lying down for long periods of time.
If you live in the McLean, VA, or Purcellville, VA, our offices are ready to advise you on how to improve the look of your legs and get rid of the heavy, aching feeling that venous insufficiency causes. Set up your consultation with us today!